EU to China: Please Dump Steel On Us (Sort of)

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,,, at 4/22/2009 12:47:00 PM
While tariffs have already been given the go signal from Brussels on steel used in construction, it appears that European steelmakers are now taking a more conciliatory stance for other classes of products given that Chinese imports are dwindling as economic recession tightens its grip in Europe. Originally, the EU was set to widen its inquiry into whether various Asian steelmakers were guilty of dumping. However, the current economic climate seems to have damped such calls as the original complainant has since withdrawn its request. From the Steel Guru:
Bloomberg reported that European Union ended a threat of tariffs on stainless steel from China, Taiwan and South Korea after the recession prompted EU producers to withdraw a complaint alleging price undercutting.

The European Commission closed an inquiry into whether Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean exporters sold cold rolled flat products in the EU below cost. EU makers of this kind of steel, used in everything from cars and tanks to boilers and kitchen equipment, include Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG and Luxembourg based ArcelorMittal. [The] EC said that "Demand has recently collapsed in the EU and this has also led to a decline in imports." The closing of the case removes the threat of punitive EU duties against companies including China's Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Co, Taiwan's Yeun Chyang Industrial Co and Korea's Daiyang Metal Co.

European steel lobby group Eurofer withdrew its dumping complaint on March 4th 2009, the second time in four months the economic slump forced the EU industry to reverse policy. In December, Eurofer withdrew a dumping complaint covering galvanized flat steel from China, prompting the commission to close a related probe in February.

The end of the galvanized and stainless-steel cases removes two potential sources of EU China friction over steel trade. The EU is pursuing two other dumping inquiries involving wire rod and steel wires from China and has introduced provisional tariffs while examining whether to impose definitive five year levies.
It's interesting to note how worldwide economic slowdown is resulting in somewhat different responses in the EU and the US.